OCEAN BEACH AREA:Dancing in the Moonlight

“The Community Fund wants to thank all our sponsors, donors, and everyone who worked so hard to make this year’s event a success,” said Holly Etlin, president of the Ocean Beach Community Fund (OBCF). “We hope you all had a wonderful time.”

The OBCF exists to raise funds to improve village facilities and organize events open to all in the community. Previous projects have included renovation of the community house and the restoration of the Ocean Beach Youth Group facility at Windswept, and events sponsored by the OBCF include the annual July 4 children’s parade, arts and crafts fairs, and dock concerts.

This year’s event was dedicated to the memory of John Schaffner, a past president of the organization who passed away earlier this year. Special projects in the village are being planned in John’s memory using funds raised through the gala.

“I have only heard very good comments and excellent feedback,” said Co-Treasurer Marvin Vipler. “Thanks to all volunteers for your hard work and efforts.” He added that the winner of the $1,000 grand prize raffle, Matt Lindberg of Kline’s, donated much of his winnings back to the OBCF. Several tables of goods were also offered as part of a Chinese raffle.

This year’s live entertainment was provided by That ’70s Band, a Suffolk-based 10-piece ensemble formed in 2005 that has played with the likes of Gloria Gaynor and other stars of the decade.

“This is our first time in Ocean Beach and it’s great,” said band Co-Owner Steve Interrante, who added that the band has come to be recognized as the leading ’70s dance band in the tri-state area. He and business partner Erol Caypinar lead a rotating roster of vocalists and musicians performing at many top venues on Long Island and in New York City as well as at private events as far away as Miami and Bermuda. By the middle of the event, the dance floor was packed with party goers enjoying the band’s upbeat tunes.

As per tradition, most restaurants in Ocean Beach served entrees at a grand buffet table that was replenished throughout the night. Bar stations served unlimited cocktails and drinks, and a raw bar supplied oysters and shrimp. Every guest received either a flowery headband or a peace symbol necklace.

“We appreciate your support!” said OBCF Co-Chairperson Susie Cafuoco. “It is our mission to use the fundraising monies and give back to our village for all to enjoy. Looking forward to next year’s gala event!”

All the leaders and members of the OBCF worked together to host the community at the largest gala since the pandemic, and the community was grateful.

The community welcomed a new superintendent to the Fire Island School District on Aug. 1. Travis Davey previously served as assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction for the Babylon School District and as principal of Babylon Elementary School, Bellport Middle School, and Brookhaven Elementary School. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology, a Master of Education, and a Master of Arts in Educational Administration, all from the University of Notre Dame. His wife is a science teacher and they have four children.

“I am grateful to the Fire Island Board of Education for their confidence in me to serve the district as the next superintendent/principal,” said Davey. “I am eager to learn more about the Fire Island community through conversations with our students and their families.”

Have you heard that artist Kenny Goodman has reopened his shop, this time in Ocean Bay Park? Kenny’s long-running Ocean Beach gallery closed in 2017 when the building was reconstructed. Originally content with retirement, Kenny saw a continued demand for his jewelry and sculpture pieces and decided to make a comeback. The new shop is located between the Ocean Bay Park ferry terminal and the fire department.

Kenny Goodman necklaces will be awarded to all first-place finishers at the annual Sandpiper Run for children on Saturday, Aug. 27. The run was renamed this year in honor of its founder and longtime organizer, Steve Einig, who passed away in February at the age of 64. Children aged 4 to 14 years may register at the village office in four categories for $20.

The Ocean Beach village board meeting previously scheduled for Aug. 15 has been rescheduled for Saturday, Aug. 27, and will be held at the boathouse at 11:15 a.m.